Where I was 13 years ago on this day

September 11, 2014

#neverforget911 #911anniversary #wherewereyou 

I will never forget where I was 13 years ago today. I was half asleep and stumbling out to the front porch of my apartment with a bowl of Cheerios. It was probably late morning close to noon because I only had an evening class that day. I was sitting in a chair just munching away and I noticed the neighbors across the street running to another house and yelling back and forth. There was also somebody outside at the house down the street talking loudly to someone else. All I processed was something about an 'airplane' and 'building'. The vibe struck me as being very weird. It wasn't like my neighbors don't yell over to each other, but, as I took another bite of my Cheerios, I felt like they were talking urgently about something going on.

I went inside to flip on the news and saw, on every channel, the twin towers smoking and the news reporters were showing it live and talking about and repeating the coverage of when the first plane hit. That's when I saw, in real time, the second plane come out of nowhere, surprise reporters, and hit the second tower. I'll never forget that.

That evening, my night class was cancelled and the whole campus was shut down. The buildings were empty and dark. Campus was eerily silent. I remember the irrational fear of not wanting to run into somebody of middle eastern heritage because it would be awkward after what took place. I worried about my great life-long middle eastern friend and others who would take irrational blame because they were from the same part of the world as the terrorists.

It changed our world, it changed our views on the security of the world and gave us a look at another country's views of the United States. It's left ripples of anxiety and fear which can still be felt today. Now with ISIS and others arising, and Obama taking steps to go after them, I can't help but feel maybe we're a little safer now. We're more aware of them and able to go after them first. I at least hope so. So maybe some long term good came from 9/11 - that we are more cautious and on alert instead of overconfident in our untouchable country.

I hope everyone takes a moment to think about where they were on 9/11 at the moment when you heard or saw what happened. We must always remember that freedom has enemies, but freedom is always worth fighting for. Thank you to all the men and women who serve our country and have been on the front lines against terrorism and other would-be war mongers. I would not be where I am and do what I'm doing if the terrorists had succeeded. In honor of the freedom and spirit the terrorists failed to dishearten, I hope you have a great day. Do not spend it in self pity or depression but appreciate the day and remember your freedom. Please take a moment to reflect where you were when 9/11 happened and have a moment of silence to honor those we lost.

By Eryck Webb | Edited by Kristina Webb

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